A defense of adverbs

While writing experts have little love for the modifier, they can have their uses. Consider these strong adverbs when looking to punch up dull copy.

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Adverbs aren’t very popular these days.

We all know how Stephen King regards and Mark Twain regarded them. English teachers, writing coaches, and would-be authors advise everyone to avoid them. J.K. Rowling—best-selling author and creator of the “Harry Potter” series—has been criticized relentlessly for her use of them.

Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at adverbs, the most maligned of the parts of speech.

Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They describe how, when, where, and how much.

Ex: “I was soundly beaten the last time I played Scrabble.

The disdain many writers and editors have for adverbs often occurs when adverbs are used with the word “said.” Here are a few examples.

Ex: “You cheated. That’s the only way you could have won,” I said angrily.

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